John Roland Sanchez, 29

Senior Account Manager, Zachys Wine & Liquor

John Roland Sanchez was raised in a wine-conscious family, but his own involvement with the world of wine came after an interesting detour as a print-and-runway model. Realizing that modeling was not the foundation of a long-term career, he began working in the Zachys storeroom and rose up the ladder quickly. Today, Sanchez is a senior account manager for the company’s private-client service group, an executive position that involves extensive contact with wine enthusiasts and experts worldwide.

Sanchez is a certified wine expert — something he earned via the Wine & Spirit Education Trust — but he has found that his most valuable training came “from the company itself. I was lucky enough to have great mentors who took a personal interest in me, offering guidance along the way.” That guidance took the form of tastings and seminars with winemakers, as well as a nine-day trip to Italy “to visit some of the great wineries in Tuscany and Piedmont,” he says, calling it the sort of background that is “imperative when working with collectors.”

His greatest satisfaction as a wine consultant comes “from creating strong relationships with clients, offering a bespoke experience with a very hands-on approach to building or managing their collection.” Collectors, explains Sanchez, are looking for an experience when they open a bottle of wine. “They want to know what they are drinking, what makes it so special, and how to build on this knowledge. I am going to work hard to keep expanding my palate, form creative strategies for collectors, and absorb as much as possible.”

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